I'm sorry if this feels like a weird/inappropriate question, but I will ask anyway.

Due to my lack of skills in speaking a lot of languages, I find myself sometimes looking for nude models in lands where prostitution is very... popular, while instead I have to deal with a very scarce number of trained professional models.

Of course a model would be who I'd normally book for a shoot, but sometimes they don't speak any language I know (which is critical to communicate), or they simply don't answer to my messages.

Therefore I had the idea of booking an escort lady to make her pose for me.
Personally I find the idea to let a girl do a better job than selling her body decent...

Is there anything I didn't think of?
Is this ethically acceptable?
Am I breaking any laws (I wouldn't do anything else than photos) in Europe?

Please, if you want to downvote it's ok, but at least explain why. I'm having the feeling here that some people are judging me for things I didn't even do (and the fact that I'm asking proves my good faith - otherwise I would have acted and not cared about what you think)

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you should realize that a model is not just a person that is willing to get photographed, but a person that is trained to be a model. It takes serious training and knowledge to be a good model, and if that is what you need, no non-model will be able to help you, no matter what her willingness to pose is - with or without whatever clothing. Apart from that, in most European countries, two consenting! adults can do with each other whatever they want, without breaking any law. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aganju
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 3:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Of course I do. "a model would be who I'd normally book for a shoot", but I just meant that seeing non-model girls with awesome poses made me wonder if they too have some experience. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 6:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not a photographer, but this doesn't sound like a good idea to me. Many sex workers would prefer to maintain their privacy. \$\endgroup\$
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 13:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I accept that, but I'm talking about people who agree to do it \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 7:58

4 Answers 4


When you hire an escort instead of a model, you will not hire a model. Speaking the same language is one part of communication, but certainly not everything.

Being a model means experience in posing, in being directed how to look, how a photoshot goes, etc. It's a profession. It's what a professional photographer appreciates.

If the language they speak is so important that it outweighs if they are good at modelling or a model at all, the purpose of hiring them becomes questionable.

lack of skills in speaking a lot of languages

Hire a translator. This solves the communication problem that you have. The languages that a model speaks should not be the primary reason to hire him/her.

This translator could come in the form of an assistant. Compare getting in contact with the local photography community, building connections, having a helping hand, additional creative input, clear communication, experienced model, etc. etc. to the previous plan: I have money and a camera, please undress!

tl,dr: Be a professional, hire professionals.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Well I find the possibility to speak with the model very important. I like to be able to create a mood/atmosphere together and I think that the interpreter/assistant would be a good idea. I also find this kind of answer precise (it got to the point I guess) and less judgy. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 7:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you're over-estimating the 'professional skills' of 99% of the ladies who make themselves available for modelling, particularly erotic modelling! \$\endgroup\$
    – Laurence
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 17:06

...This sounds like an awful idea and for one reason that the other answers don't mention: Model Release

You want to hire Escorts, that may or may not understand the reason you're hiring them. To do nude work with a tourist that doesn't speak the same language.

Then you presumably want to be able to use it in your portfolio and publish it.. Without a willing participant that can read and sign a Model Release you can't do this.

Additionally, to specifically discuss "Personally I find the idea to let a girl do a better job than selling her body decent..."

That is incredibly offensive. You don't make those decisions for women or men. Not all escorts are sex workers and its not your call to make. And not all escorts, sex worker or not, want to be photographed for the world to see. Again, not your call to make.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Well put (insert extra characters here) \$\endgroup\$
    – lharby
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 15:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think that your read all the answers as well as comments at all. What makes you think that the escort would work without a contract? I'm OK if you say "this is not your call to make", but I would have ASKED, not just TAKEN. Once again, I find this answer rather judgy... and I specified already that I asked in good faith. That's why I asked, otherwise I would have just done whatever I wanted to (if I was an asshole) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 9:27

Is there anything I didn't think of?

Perhaps the difficulty you might have in convincing the police that you only intend to take photos and that you never had any intention of having sex with a person who is known to take money for sex.

Is this ethically acceptable?

I don't think so. Most telling is the phrase you used: I had the idea of booking an escort lady to make her pose for me. Your intent to "make her pose" implies a lack of respect for your subject (both the person and the practice) and some degree of coercion. At what point are you planning to disclose to her that the job is a photo shoot? Do you think that because she's willing to trade sex for money, she'll do anything you ask for money? What if she doesn't want to be photographed? If you need a model, hire someone who's looking for modeling work.

Your argument about language is difficult to understand (or believe). If you have a language barrier with models, wouldn't it be just as difficult to communicate with an "escort" who speaks the same language? How hard is it really, in modern Europe, to find a model who speaks a little bit of English? The whole line of reasoning seems more like rationalization than legitimate concern.

Am I breaking any laws (I wouldn't do anything else than photos) in Europe?

Never take legal advice from an anonymous person on the Internet. Hire a lawyer that's well versed in the laws of the nation in question and ask them.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ I feel like my question has been misunderstood... maybe I used poor English but "make her pose" didn't imply I don't have respect for the girl. "My employer makes me work for him" - and it's totally ok to me. At what point I was to disclose what the job was about? BEFORE booking her, of course. Yes, you are right about the police and the legal advice, but I don't feel you got me in your second point. Last but not the least, it is my general understanding that a lot of escorts work with tourists, while a lot of models don't. Who's more bound to know English better? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 20:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ What does a moral model photographer say when he "makes her pose", either nude or not? \$\endgroup\$
    – Octopus
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 23:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ I will write once again that I may have used a poor selection of words. I didn't mean to coerce anybody \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 6:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Noldor130884 I'm glad it was just a poor choice of words. Nevertheless, the whole endeavor seems like a poor idea. \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 12:28

Is this ethically acceptable?

Of course it is; consenting adults can do whatever they want. This should be the only response to all questions of this type.

Wait, are they really consenting adults? You said (emphasis added):

booking an escort lady to make her pose for me.

You then said in comments on Caleb’s answer this “may” have been a “poor selection of words”. Hopefully it was, and hopefully it was out of character. If you use such a poor selection of words during your photography work, you might have much bigger problems.

On another note:

Personally I find the idea to let a girl do a better job than selling her body decent

So instead of them selling the right to touch their bodies, you want them to sell the right to photograph their bodies (in both cases for sexual purposes)? I am not sure why one would be more “decent” than the other.

The other answers also provide a lot of good advice. The only thing I would add is that consent to take photos is different to consent to distribute photos, so make sure you get the right consent.


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